What you should do if your girlfriend yells at and berates you, so you can set and enforce healthy boundaries.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who says he’s read 3% Man 15 times. He has been with a verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive girlfriend for 2 years. She constantly nags, yells at and berates him. He asks her to constantly stop treating him this way, but then he doesn’t enforce healthy boundaries.
He is enabling her behavior and inviting more of it, because she obviously doesn’t respect him as a man, because he never stands up to her. This email illustrates why setting boundaries but not enforcing them is useless and only invites more abuse. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
This is all about setting and enforcing healthy boundaries, and this particular guy is setting the boundaries, but he’s not enforcing them. And he’s been dating this girl for two years, so he’s pretty far down the road with enabling this kind of toxic, abusive behavior. And so, when he tells her, “don’t talk to me like that,” he doesn’t really do anything to enforce the unhealthy behavior. So, he’s enabling it and he’s taught her how to treat him. He’s taught her that no amount of disrespect, verbal abuse or nastiness is going to cause him to back off. He’ll just keep pursuing and coming back, asking for more helpings of the abuse. So, this guy is his own worst enemy.
And I know he claims to have read 3% Man 15 times, but when I read through this, his mindset is wrong, and he’s definitely not applying what’s in the book. It sounds like he just kind of cherry picked the concepts that he agreed with or that were easy to implement, but the other things that were a little too scary for him, he just didn’t. And his girlfriend is treating him like a doormat. When I go through this, it’s like, man, there are so many men out there that put up with this shit. And they go through with it and marry women like this thinking it’s going to get better. And then you have kids with her. Oh, God. I would not put up with this crap.
I hope you’re doing well. I want to thank you for all you do for men and for the community. I’ve read your book/listened to your audiobook, How to Be a 3% Man, over 15 times and constantly try to re-read/listen every other month while commuting, working out, etc.
Well, you can listen to the book a thousand times, but if you’re going to ignore what’s in there or do the opposite of it, you shouldn’t be surprised you’re getting undesired results.
I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. I’ve been dating this girl for over two years now, and she’s such a sweet girl; however, as you’ll say, it can’t be that great if I’m writing to you.
I’ve been trying to deal with a few issues that have come up, and I would like your take on them. My girlfriend tends to yell at me a lot and nag about everything and can get quite nasty.
Well, that sounds like fun.
I feel she’s yelling at me like I’m her child.
Well, because you put up with it. You are happy to be her doormat, and you have not stopped.
And it pisses me off. I told her at first in a calm voice to not talk to me that way, but it hasn’t gotten better, and I will admit, I’m starting to get quite fed up and annoyed with it.
Yeah, dude, you’re like, two years down the road, and just now you’re getting upset about it? This is all on you. You enabled it. You taught her to treat you this way.
I tell her constantly, “You can’t talk to me that way, this is disrespectful,” and all she has to say is, “You’re so annoying and dramatic and keep holding a grudge that I keep doing this.”
The quickest way to get somebody else’s attention is to remove yours. As the book says, you’ve got to set and enforce healthy boundaries. If someone’s being abusive to you, you just say, “Stop talking to me that way. Stop treating me that way.” And if she continues to do it, then you leave. Just say, “I’m not putting up with this. Call me when you’re ready to apologize and be sweet. You’re abusive right now, and you need to knock it off.” But instead, he sits there and he puts up with it like a soy boy beta male.
It’s not attractive, and you’ll see it gets even worse. She doesn’t respect this guy at all, because he doesn’t respect himself. And if you won’t stand up to a girl that’s abusive to you, she’s not going to feel safe and comfortable. And that’s why she’s so bitchy. Because, really, what she wants is him to stand up to her and put her in her place. And when she abuses him, he just leaves. He goes and does something else without her.
She says that when I keep bringing it up when she gets nasty with me and starts to berate me, it causes more of an issue…
Yeah, if she starts berating you, it’s like, “I’m leaving. I don’t want to hear from you until you’re ready to apologize and be sweet, and this shit’s going to stop. And if it doesn’t stop, then we’re not going to be together anymore. It’s pretty simple.” In that case, when the abuse is going on like that and it’s toxic, you just say, “This is going to end our relationship if you keep doing this. I just can’t be with somebody that’s like this.”
…and that I can’t just drop anything because I’m constantly trying to talk about it and telling her to stop.
Well, if you tell her to stop and she keeps doing it, you don’t sit there and put up with it like a pussy, you leave. You say, “That’s it, I’m out of here,” and then get in your car and go do something else. Spend less time with her, take longer to return her phone calls. If she’s not apologetic and remorseful, then she can get the gift of missing you.
She also adds that I don’t take any responsibility for forgetting things or being late, because I tell her “please don’t talk to me that way and that it is an issue to speak to me in that tone,” and that I make her the problem when it’s actually my fault.
Yeah, it’s just like no accountability either. She’s turning around and pointing it back at you saying it’s all your fault, when in reality, it is because you keep enabling her behavior. You keep putting up with it. You keep teaching her that this is okay, because there are no consequences for the abuse. She abuses you, and you put up with it.
These tend to become very heated, and she stonewalls me and gets into an incredibly awful mood.
It’s like, you don’t stick around when the girl is being awful. And she wants to, it’s like, “Hey, you don’t want to talk to me, you’re stonewalling me.” You’ve got to call her out on that. It’s like, “You’re stonewalling me. We can’t work anything out unless you’re willing to talk.” And if she wants to be grumpy and bitchy, then it’s like, “Alright, I’m leaving.”
If she’s like,”Well, we have plans today,” it’s like, “We don’t anymore, because I’m not going to tolerate your abuse. I’ve told you, and you’re doing it again, and I’m out of here. Call me when you’re ready to be sweet.” The strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. And when you walk away – which it doesn’t sound like you ever do, it just sounds like you sit there and you take the beatings – she doesn’t take you seriously.
She loves her father, but she talks to her father this way as well.
Because her father is also a pussy.
She’s always been given everything she has ever wanted and was never told no. I’m the first one to tell her no, and she expects me to take this behavior.
Well, you do. You keep taking it. You tell her no, but then you just sit there and you put up with it. So, even though your words say no, your actions and your physical presence say, “It’s okay, kick me again, abuse me again. Abuse me some more, hurl some more insults. This is totally fine.”
I’m writing about this because she wants to get engaged/married shortly…
No, that’s out of the question. And the next time she brings it up, just say, “Look, I’m not going to discuss getting married or engaged with you any time in the near future, because you have not stopped your abusing me, and I’m not going to marry a woman who’s going to berate me and treat me like a child. I’m not going to be your boyfriend or your husband and you continue to talk to me the same way you do your dad. That doesn’t work for me. That’s a deal breaker.” But probably, because he’s really thirsty for this girl, he just puts up with it because he’s scared to “lose her.” So, he puts up with this crap.
…and I keep telling her I can’t get engaged with this type of behavior and won’t put up with it.
Well, she doesn’t believe you, because you keep putting up with it. There’s no consequences. The fact that you keep sticking around, you’re saying you’re not going to put up with the behavior, but then you stick around. And so, she assumes that eventually you’re going to cave, because that’s probably what her dad always does. He spoiled her, and he basically rewards the bad behavior. So, she learned that she can be as out of control as she wants to be with you, or her dad, or any other man in her life, and they’ll put up with it, because you won’t enforce any boundaries.
Everyone in her life expects us to get engaged soon. I can’t fathom dealing with this when all she does is either talk about getting engaged or yell at me about something, and then tells me I’m dramatic because I stand up for myself.
Well, you’re not standing up for yourself when you call her out on it, and then you just sit there and continue taking the abuse. I mean, it should be 2 or 3 times and that’s it. And then, you should be refusing to even spend time with her. And when she calls you, “I want to see you,” you’re like, “No, I told you I don’t want to spend time with you when you treat me that way.”
“It’s like, What’s going to change? I tell you that this is not appropriate and this can’t continue, and yet you continue to do it. So, if you’re not going to change anything, we don’t have a future together. It’s just not going to work. I don’t want to be I don’t want to live like this. You’re not going to treat me the same way you treat your dad.”
Coach, I would love to know how to deal with this, as I’m starting to get super pissed off and don’t know what to do.
You’ve got to enforce the boundaries, dude. She’s violating your boundaries and yet you sit there and you take it. I mean, that’s just delusional to sit there and think that you can just say, “Don’t treat me that way,” and then she continues abusing you, and you just put up with it. You’ve trained her that you’re going to put up with it no matter what, just like her father does, because he doesn’t have the balls to stand up to her either.
You can tell her no, but if she doesn’t take you seriously, she doesn’t believe you, there’s no reason for her to change. You constantly validate her behavior. You constantly, through your actions, communicate that even though you bitch about it, you’re not going to do anything. You’re just going to stick around.
She also finds other reasons to get mad at me along with the nagging.
Because she doesn’t respect you as a man, because you’re being a bitch. And deep down, what she really wants you to do is actually stand up to her and put her in her place. And then when she doesn’t stop the abuse, you just leave. You get in your car, and go do something else. Go hang out with your friends, go see your mother, go to the gym. Do things without her, and refuse to see her until she apologizes and convinces you that it really is never going to happen again.
Either I’ll forget something in the house while she’s late and I’ll get ripped a new one, or I’ll tell her we have to go out with some of my buddies for their birthday and she’ll throw a fit.
It sounds like this guy probably moved in with her. What a dunce, dude. Sorry, man, to break your balls like this, but you deserve it. Somebody’s got to tell you that you need to turn this shit around. I can’t believe you moved in with this girl with her treating you this way.
But whenever she forgets something or we have to go to her friend’s stuff, it’s never an issue.
Yeah. The issue is she doesn’t trust your masculine core, because you’re too afraid to stand up to her. Telling her no is one thing, but there’s got to be actions behind the no, and there’s obviously not.
Due to the economy, I’ve been extremely busy working, as I’m in the distressed space, causing issues in our relationship. I work all the time during the week. I don’t see my partner during the week, as I typically only have time Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoons that are definitely free. I don’t want to try to make plans on a weekday night if I can’t give her my undivided attention.
She constantly rubs this in my face that I work too much, and that I’m obsessed because I talk about it often, or I’ll have a random phone call on a weekend that I have to take, and I have to work for a few hours mid-day. She always brings up the fact that I work too much and don’t have time for her when she starts to nag and throws it in always as a dig, even if it’s not relevant.
Just because she doesn’t respect you. She doesn’t respect you as a man.
However, we both live with our parents, as I’m paying off student loans.
Okay. So they don’t live together.
She keeps telling me that I need to have all my student loans paid off before getting engaged…
Man, can you imagine living putting up with this for two years? She talks to him like a child, because he acts like a child. He won’t even stand up to her. Have some self-respect, dude.
…and that I need to live with my parents to pay them off faster for us. However, she gets mad at me for working when part of my compensation is tied to my bonus, after all she wanted was for me to pay off my debt to get engaged.
Well, one thing I will say is you shouldn’t take it personally when a girl is complaining that you’re not spending enough time with her. And then he’s going into logic and reason and justifying why he’s working all these hours. Which is true, but instead of taking it personally and trying to defend yourself when she complains you don’t spend enough time with her, all she’s really saying is, “Hey, spend some more time with me.” But because you’ve trained this girl to be such a bitch to you, it comes off in this totally bitchy, unpleasant way.
And then he goes into rationalizations and trying to explain his behavior, instead of just recognizing that all she’s saying is, “Hey, I want to spend time with you.” If you try to argue with her, all you’re basically saying is, “Hey, I’m not going to do anything to change it. I’m going to keep doing the same thing.” And that makes her feel like you don’t care. That’s why they get upset and yell at you and say you’re not listening.
It is grinding my gears, because she comments about me not having time during the week. However, she has all these other obligations, like working out during the week, so she can’t do something, even when I get a night off, and tells me she is too busy.
Yeah, that tells me her attraction is not that high for you either. So her attraction is low for you, and her respect is low for you as well. Because if you’re trying to spend time with her and see her, and she’s putting you off after she just got done complaining, that shows that her attraction is low and her respect level is extremely low.
Additionally, she’s been away half of the weekends in 2023 due to different events relating to visiting friends, bachelorettes, etc.
Yeah, her attraction is really low to you, dude. And that’s another thing that you’re not recognizing. Because she complains about you not spending time, but yet she’s away every other weekend, when that’s pretty much the only time that you have available to spend with her. I don’t know what you’re doing or how you’ve read the book as many times as you claim, and you can’t recognize that things are way off in your relationship.
Still, she then tells me she can’t see me, because I work too much, and that she won’t put her life on hold and will do things without me, when part of the reason I work so much is because for the longest time, she complained about my debt.
Yeah, you’re a people pleaser, you’ve turned her into your mommy, and you just allow her to browbeat you. Dude, this is not what the book teaches. You’re selectively applying what’s in the book. Because to stand up to her and risk losing her when her interest is already low is something you’re obviously afraid of and scared to do.
I will admit, there have been weekends when we were together that I had to work during the day; however, I always prioritize seeing her on my Friday and Saturday nights. But it pisses me off when she yells at me that I work too much, however, she’s going out to visit friends, while I stay home trying to save money, as well as build my career, as all she talks about is luxury items that she wants to buy all the time.
Yeah, it sounds like she’s keeping her options open, because you’re not man enough to stand up to her and lead her. Therefore, she treats you like an afterthought. And if she’s busy hanging out with her friends, it sounds like a lot of her life is acting like a single person.
I don’t know if the complaints about work are actually about work or if it’s because she expects my world to revolve around her and for me to be available to do whatever she wants.
It’s because you’re being a fucking pussy, that’s why. You’re not acting like a man with this girl at all, dude. I mean, you literally created a tyrant. Your girlfriend is a tyrant, and you’ve enabled her behavior. You’re basically a supplicating beta male. It’s disgusting. She doesn’t respect you, her attraction for you is low, and it’s obvious that you’re in a state of fear and you’re worried about losing her. That’s why you put up with all of this shit. And then, on top of that, you do the things that she says she wants, and yet she’s not even making time for you half the time.
Still, when it’s the other way around, it doesn’t matter. I also don’t know if part of her impairing about work is sometimes, she’ll be trying to talk to me, and I have to take a call, and it’s just her way of saying pay attention to me, and I want to see more of you. I know women want your attention all the time, but a million mixed signals are going on here.
Yeah, dude, you’re so bamboozled, you have no idea what’s going on. And you’re deluding yourself. You’re living in an alternate reality. You’re seeing reality as better than it is, instead of as it is. And then you’re acting based upon the fantasy of what you think it is, and you’re just missing all kinds of things. Women can’t love a man they don’t respect, and she doesn’t respect you at all.
The craziest thing is that she will yell at me about all this and then talk three hours later about us having kids and buying a place.
Hey, that’s the way women are. They’re emotional beings. Their feelings and emotions change like the weather. This is all in the book. Remember, you claimed you read it 15 times.
Sorry for the long email, Coach; I’m at a crossroads and don’t know what is happening.
Well, like I said, I know you claim to have read the book 15 times, but you’re certainly not acting like a guy that has read the book 15 times.
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